Dean's Weekly Message

August 15, 2022

Dear colleague:

Congratulations to Caitlin Rublee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine and assistant fellowship director of the climate and health science policy fellowship, who is one of seven health professionals selected for the class of 2022 National Academy of Medicine Fellowships.  Fellows will collaborate with eminent researchers, policy experts, and clinicians from across the country during their two-year fellowship. Caitlin’s research addresses health policy and evidence-informed practice so that during and after extreme weather events patients have access to high-quality health care and patients and employees remain safe. Her work has revealed significant opportunity globally to develop climate-resilient emergency care systems to protect the most vulnerable. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) posted an article last week that called attention to the nation’s critical shortage of psychiatrists. The need for additional mental health care professionals was evident before the pandemic. COVID-19 and the resulting instability contributed significantly to the rise in people reporting feeling anxious and depressed. The AAMC report outlines ways its members are partnering with primary care providers to use digital tools to expand care. Among the experts quoted is Matt Mishkind, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, discussing the use of telemedicine and online self-paced modules for cognitive behavioral therapy. The share of outpatient visits for mental health and substance use services that are delivered by telehealth has remained high, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even with such efforts, it remains an important priority for the country to increase the number of residency slots for trainees in psychiatry. 

Andrew Smith, PT, DPT, PhD, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study neuroimaging biomarkers to better understand spinal cord stimulation, which has emerged as a promising intervention in some cases of severe spinal cord injuries. The intervention has allowed restored voluntary movement in some cases of spinal cord injury, but scientists and providers do not have a clear understanding of why. Andrew’s four-year award, totaling about $510,000, will allow him to look for neuroimaging biomarkers to understand why the intervention works and to help predict which individuals would best respond. His work will be supported by mentors on our campus, at Craig Hospital, and at the University of Louisville Spinal Cord Injury Research Center. 

The Denver Medical Society announced last week a newly established scholarship fund to support underrepresented students at the School of Medicine. Rebekah Coelho-Shumskiy, Class of 2025, and Micaela Roy, Class of 2026, are the first recipients of the scholarship, which covers 50% of their tuition. The scholarship is named after Francis H. McNaught, MD, who was a professor of obstetrics at the School of Medicine in the early 1900s. Many thanks to the Denver Medical Society for its support of our students. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Robert Henry Slover II, MD, professor of pediatrics, who died August 5. Robert joined the CU School of Medicine after 20 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. At the School of Medicine, he directed the pediatric section of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes from 2011 to 2021 and he was the first recipient of the Robert Wagner Chair in Pediatric Diabetes. His research helped to develop the artificial pancreas. Among his survivors are Robin Slover, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology, four children, and 21 grandchildren. A funeral service will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, August 16, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 21750 E. Dorado Ave., Aurora.

Have a good week,

John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine

The Dean’s weekly message is an email news bulletin from John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members, staff, students and others about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service.   See the UCH-Insider →


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